Tafsir Ibn Kathir (English)

Surah Zukhruf

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بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

1.

 حـم

Ha Mim.

2.

 وَالْكِتَـبِ الْمُبِينِ

By the manifest Book.

3.

 إِنَّا جَعَلْنَـهُ قُرْءاناً عَرَبِيّاً لَّعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ

Verily, We have made it a Qur'an in Arabic that you may be able to understand.

4.

 وَإِنَّهُ فِى أُمّ الْكِتَـبِ لَدَيْنَا لَعَلِىٌّ حَكِيمٌ

And verily, it is in the Mother of the Book with Us, indeed exalted, full of wisdom.

5.

 أَفَنَضْرِبُ عَنكُمُ الذّكْرَ صَفْحاً أَن كُنتُمْ قَوْماً مُّسْرِفِينَ

Shall We then take away the Reminder from you, because you are a people excessive.

6.

 وَكَمْ أَرْسَلْنَا مِن نَّبِيّ فِى الاْوَّلِينَ

And how many a Prophet have We sent amongst the men of old.

7.

 وَمَا يَأْتِيهِم مّنْ نَّبِىّ إِلاَّ كَانُواْ بِهِ يَسْتَهْزِءونَ

And never came there a Prophet to them but they used to mock at him.

8.

فَأَهْلَكْنَآ أَشَدَّ مِنْهُم بَطْشاً وَمَضَى مَثَلُ الاْوَّلِينَ

Then We destroyed men stronger (in power) than these and the example of the ancients has passed away.   

 

Next 9-14   

Allah says:

حم ﴿١  

Ha-Mim.

وَالْكِتَابِ الْمُبِين ِ﴿٢

By the manifest Book.

means, plain and clear in both wording and meaning, because it was revealed in the language of the Arabs, which is the most eloquent language for communication among people.

Allah says:

إِنَّا جَعَلْنَاهُ ...

Verily, We have made it,

meaning, revealed it,

... قُرْآنًا عَرَبِيًّا ...

a Qur'an in Arabic,

meaning, in the language of the Arabs, eloquent and clear;

... لَّعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ ﴿٣﴾

that you may be able to understand.

means, that you may understand it and ponder its meanings.

This is like the Ayah:

بِلِسَانٍ عَرَبِىٍّ مُّبِينٍ

In the plain Arabic language. (26:195)

وَإِنَّهُ فِي أُمِّ الْكِتَابِ لَدَيْنَا لَعَلِيٌّ حَكِيمٌ ﴿٤

And verily, it is in the Mother of the Book with Us, indeed exalted, full of wisdom.

This explains the high status of the Qur'an among the hosts on high (the angels), so that the people of earth will respect it, venerate it and obey it.

وَإِنَّهُ (And verily, it), means, the Qur'an,

فِي أُمِّ الْكِتَاب (is in the Mother of the Book), meaning, Al-Lawh Al-Mahfuz (the Preserved Tablet). This was the view of Ibn `Abbas and Mujahid.

لَدَيْنَا (with Us,) means, in Our presence. This was the view of Qatadah and others.

لَعَلِيٌّ (indeed exalted), means, occupying a position of honor and virtue. This was the view of Qatadah.

حَكِيمٌ (full of wisdom), means, clear, with no confusion or deviation.

All of this indicates its noble status and virtue, as Allah says elsewhere:

إِنَّهُ لَقُرْءَانٌ كَرِيمٌ - فِى كِتَـبٍ مَّكْنُونٍ - لاَّ يَمَسُّهُ إِلاَّ الْمُطَهَّرُونَ - تَنزِيلٌ مِّن رَّبِّ الْعَـلَمِينَ

That (this) is indeed an honorable recitation. In a Book well-guarded. Which none can touch but the pure. A revelation from the Lord of the all that exists. (56:77-80)

كَلاَّ إِنَّهَا تَذْكِرَةٌ - فَمَن شَآءَ ذَكَرَهُ - فَى صُحُفٍ مُّكَرَّمَةٍ -   مَّرْفُوعَةٍ مُّطَهَّرَةٍ - بِأَيْدِى سَفَرَةٍ كِرَامٍ بَرَرَةٍ

Nay, indeed it is an admonition. So whoever wills, let him pay attention to it. (It is) in Records held (greatly) in honor, exalted, purified, in the hands of scribes (angels), honorable and obedient. (80:11-16)

أَفَنَضْرِبُ عَنكُمُ الذِّكْرَ صَفْحًا أَن كُنتُمْ قَوْمًا مُّسْرِفِينَ ﴿٥

Shall We then take away the Reminder (this Qur'an) from you, because you are a people excessive.

means, `do you think that We will forgive you and not punish you, when you do not do as you have been commanded?'

This was the view of Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, Abu Salih, Mujahid and As-Suddi, and was the view favored by Ibn Jarir.

أَفَنَضْرِبُ عَنكُمُ الذِّكْرَ صَفْحًا ...

Shall We then take away the Reminder (this Qur'an) from you?

Qatadah said,

"By Allah, if this Qur'an had been taken away when the first generations of this Ummah rejected it, they would have been doomed, but Allah by His mercy persisted in sending it and calling them to it for twenty years, or for as long as He willed.''

What Qatadah said is very good, and his point is that Allah, by His grace and mercy towards His creation, did not stop calling them to the truth and to the wise Reminder, i.e., the Qur'an, even though they were heedless and turned away from it. Indeed, He sent it so that those who were decreed to be guided might be guided by it, and so that proof might be established against those who were decreed to be.

 Consolation to the Prophet for the Disbelief of Quraysh

Then Allah consoles His Prophet for the disbelief of his people, and commands him to bear it with patience.

وَكَمْ أَرْسَلْنَا مِن نَّبِيٍّ فِي الْأَوَّلِينَ ﴿٦

And how many a Prophet have We sent amongst the men of old.

meaning, among the sects (communities) of old.

وَمَا يَأْتِيهِم مِّن نَّبِيٍّ إِلَّا كَانُوا بِهِ يَسْتَهْزِؤُون ﴿٧

And never came there a Prophet to them but they used to mock at him.

means, they disbelieved him and mock at him.

فَأَهْلَكْنَا أَشَدَّ مِنْهُم بَطْشًا ...

Then We destroyed men stronger than these,

means, `We destroyed those who disbelieved in the Messengers, and they were stronger in power than these who disbelieve in you, O Muhammad.'

This is like the Ayah:

أَفَلَمْ يَسِيرُواْ فِى الاٌّرْضِ فَيَنظُرُواْ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَـقِبَةُ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ كَانُواْ أَكْـثَرَ مِنْهُمْ وَأَشَدَّ قُوَّةً

Have they not traveled through the earth and seen what was the end of those before them? They were more in number than them and mightier in strength. (40:82)

And there are many similar Ayat.

... وَمَضَى مَثَلُ الْأَوَّلِينَ ﴿٨﴾

and the example of the ancients has passed away.

Mujahid said, "The way of their life.''

Qatadah said, "Their punishment.''

Others said, "Their lesson,'' i.e., `We made them a lesson for those disbelievers who came after them, that they would suffer the same end as them,' as in the Ayah at the end of this Surah:

فَجَعَلْنَـهُمْ سَلَفاً وَمَثَلاً لِّلاٌّخِرِينَ

And We made them a precedent, and an example to later generations. (43:56)

سُنَّةَ اللَّهِ الَّتِى قَدْ خَلَتْ فِى عِبَادِهِ

this has been the way of Allah in dealing with His servants. (40:85)

وَلَن تَجِدَ لِسُنَّةِ اللَّهِ تَبْدِيلاً

and you will not find any change in the way of Allah. (33:62)

9.

Previous 1-8

وَلَئِن سَأَلْتَهُمْ مَّنْ خَلَقَ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضَ

And indeed if you ask them: "Who has created the heavens and the earth?''

لَيَقُولُنَّ خَلَقَهُنَّ الْعَزِيزُ الْعَلِيمُ

They will surely say: "The All-Mighty, the All-Knower created them.''

10.

 الَّذِى جَعَلَ لَكُمُ الاٌّرْضَ مَهْداً وَجَعَلَ لَكُمْ فِيهَا سُبُلاً لَّعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ

Who has made for you the earth like a bed, and has made for you roads therein, in order that you may find your way.

11.

  وَالَّذِى نَزَّلَ مِنَ السَّمَآءِ مَآءً بِقَدَرٍ فَأَنشَرْنَا بِهِ بَلْدَةً مَّيْتاً كَذَلِكَ تُخْرَجُونَ

And Who sends down water from the sky in due measure, then We revive a dead land therewith, and even so you will be brought forth.

12.

 وَالَّذِى خَلَقَ الأَزْوَجَ كُلَّهَا وَجَعَلَ لَكُمْ مِّنَ الْفُلْكِ وَالاٌّنْعَـمِ مَا تَرْكَبُونَ

And Who has created all the pairs and has appointed for you ships and cattle on which you ride,

13.

 لِتَسْتَوُواْ عَلَى ظُهُورِهِ ثُمَّ تَذْكُرُواْ نِعْمَةَ رَبِّكُمْ إِذَا اسْتَوَيْتُمْ عَلَيْهِ وَتَقُولُواْ

In order that you may mount on their backs, and then may remember the favor of your Lord when you mount thereon, and say:

سُبْحَـنَ الَّذِى سَخَّرَ لَنَا هَـذَا وَمَا كُنَّا لَهُ مُقْرِنِينَ

"Glory to Him Who has subjected this to us, and we could have never had it.''

14.

 وَإِنَّآ إِلَى رَبِّنَا لَمُنقَلِبُونَ

And verily, to Our Lord we indeed are to return!''

 

Next 15-20   

 The Idolators' admission that Allah is the Sole Creator, and Further Evidence of that

Allah says:

وَلَئِن سَأَلْتَهُم ...

And indeed if you ask them:

Allah says: `If you, O Muhammad, were to ask these idolators who associate others with Allah and worship others besides Him,'

... مَّنْ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ لَيَقُولُنَّ خَلَقَهُنَّ الْعَزِيزُ الْعَلِيمُ ﴿٩﴾

"Who has created the heavens and the earth?''

They will surely say: "The All-Mighty, the All-Knower created them.''

In other words, they will admit that the Creator of all that is Allah Alone, with no partner or associate, yet they still worship others -- idols and false gods -- alongside Him.

الَّذِي جَعَلَ لَكُمُ الْأَرْضَ مَهْدًا ...

Who has made for you the earth like a bed,

means, smooth, stable and firm, so that you can travel about in it, and stand on it and sleep and walk about, even though it is created above water, but He has strengthened it with the mountains, lest it should shake.

... وَجَعَلَ لَكُمْ فِيهَا سُبُلًا ...

and has made for you roads therein,

means, paths between the mountains and the valleys.

... لَّعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ ﴿١٠﴾

in order that you may find your way.

means, in your journeys from city to city, region to region, land to land.

وَالَّذِي نَزَّلَ مِنَ السَّمَاء مَاء بِقَدَرٍ ...

And Who sends down water from the sky in due measure,

means, according to what is sufficient for your crops, fruits and drinking water for yourselves and your cattle.

... فَأَنشَرْنَا بِهِ بَلْدَةً مَّيْتًا ...

then We revive a dead land therewith,

means, a barren land, for when the water comes to it, it is stirred (to life), and it swells and puts forth every lovely kind (of growth).

By referring to the revival of the earth, Allah draws attention to how He will bring bodies back to life on the Day of Resurrection, after they have been dead.

... كَذَلِكَ تُخْرَجُونَ ﴿١١﴾

and even so you will be brought forth.

Then Allah says:

وَالَّذِي خَلَقَ الْأَزْوَاجَ كُلَّهَا ...

And Who has created all the pairs?

meaning, of everything that grows in the earth, all kinds of plants, crops, fruits, flowers, etc., and all different kinds of animals.

... وَجَعَلَ لَكُم مِّنَ الْفُلْكِ وَالْأَنْعَامِ مَا تَرْكَبُونَ ﴿١٢﴾

and has appointed for you ships, (or vessels), and cattle on which you ride.

means, He has subjugated them to you and made it easy for you to eat their meat, drink their milk and ride on their backs.

Allah says:

لِتَسْتَوُوا عَلَى ظُهُورِهِ ...

In order that you may mount on their backs,

meaning, sit comfortably and securely,

عَلَى ظُهُورِهِ (on their backs) means, on the backs of these kinds of animals.

... ثُمَّ تَذْكُرُوا نِعْمَةَ رَبِّكُمْ ...

and then may remember the favor of your Lord,

means, whereby these animals are subjugated to you.

... إِذَا اسْتَوَيْتُمْ عَلَيْهِ وَتَقُولُوا سُبْحانَ الَّذِي سَخَّرَ لَنَا هَذَا وَمَا كُنَّا لَهُ مُقْرِنِينَ ﴿١٣﴾

when you mount thereon, and say:

"Glory to Him Who has subjected this to us, and we could have never had it.''

means, if it were not for the fact that Allah has subjugated these things to us, we could never have done this by our own strength.'

Ibn Abbas, Qatadah, As-Suddi and Ibn Zayd said:

"We could not have done this ourselves.''

وَإِنَّا إِلَى رَبِّنَا لَمُنقَلِبُونَ ﴿١٤

And verily, to Our Lord we indeed are to return.

means, `We will return to Him after our death, and our ultimate destination is with Him.'

In this Ayah, mention of earthly journeys draws attention to the journey of the Hereafter, just as elsewhere, mention of earthly provision draws attention to the importance of ensuring provision for the Hereafter, as Allah says:

وَتَزَوَّدُواْ فَإِنَّ خَيْرَ الزَّادِ التَّقْوَى

And take a provision (with you) for the journey, but the best provision is the Taqwa. (2:197)

And mention of earthly garments is also used to draw attention to the raiment of the Hereafter:

وَرِيشًا وَلِبَاسُ التَّقْوَى ذَلِكَ خَيْرٌ

and as an adornment; and the raiment of the Taqwa, that is better. (7:26)

15.

Previous 9-14

وَجَعَلُواْ لَهُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ جُزْءًا

Yet, they assign to some of His servants a share with Him.

إِنَّ الإنسَـنَ لَكَفُورٌ مُّبِينٌ

Verily, man is indeed a manifest ingrate!

16.

 أَمِ اتَّخَذَ مِمَّا يَخْلُقُ بَنَاتٍ وَأَصْفَـكُم بِالْبَنِينَ

Or has He taken daughters out of what He has created, and He has selected for you sons!

17.

 وَإِذَا بُشِّرَ أَحَدُهُم بِمَا ضَرَبَ لِلرَّحْمَـنِ مَثَلاً ظَلَّ وَجْهُهُ مُسْوَدّاً وَهُوَ كَظِيمٌ

And if one of them is informed of the news of that which he sets forth as a parable to the Most Gracious, his face becomes dark, and he is filled with grief!

18.

 أَوَمَن يُنَشَّأُ فِى الْحِلْيَةِ وَهُوَ فِى الْخِصَامِ غَيْرُ مُبِينٍ

A creature who is brought up in adornments, and who in dispute cannot make itself clear,

19.

 وَجَعَلُواْ الْمَلَـئِكَةَ الَّذِينَ هُمْ عِبَادُ الرَّحْمَـنِ

And they make females the angels who themselves are servants of the Most Gracious.

إِنَـثاً أَشَهِدُواْ خَلْقَهُمْ سَتُكْتَبُ شَهَـدَتُهُمْ وَيُسْـَلُونَ

Did they witness their creation? Their testimony will be recorded, and they will be questioned!

20.

وَقَالُواْ لَوْ شَآءَ الرَّحْمَـنُ مَا عَبَدْنَـهُمْ

And they said: "If it had been the will of the Most Gracious, we should not have worshipped them.''

مَّا لَهُم بِذَلِكَ مِنْ عِلْمٍ إِنْ هُمْ إِلاَّ يَخْرُصُونَ

They have no knowledge whatsoever of that. They do nothing but lie!   

 

Next 21-25   

Condemnation of the Idolators' attribution of Offspring to Allah

Here Allah speaks of the lies and fabrications of the idolators, when they devoted some of their cattle to their false gods and some to Allah, as He described in Surah Al-An`am where He said:

وَجَعَلُواْ لِلَّهِ مِمَّا ذَرَأَ مِنَ الْحَرْثِ وَالاٌّنْعَامِ نَصِيباً فَقَالُواْ هَـذَا لِلَّهِ بِزَعْمِهِمْ وَهَـذَا لِشُرَكَآئِنَا فَمَا كَانَ لِشُرَكَآئِهِمْ فَلاَ يَصِلُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَمَا كَانَ لِلَّهِ فَهُوَ يَصِلُ إِلَى شُرَكَآئِهِمْ سَآءَ مَا يَحْكُمُونَ

And they assign to Allah share of the tilth and cattle which He has created, and they say: "This is for Allah'' according to their claim," and this is for our partners.'' But the share of their partners reaches not Allah, while the share of Allah reaches their partners! Evil is the way they judge! (6:136).

Similarly, out of the two kinds of offspring, sons and daughters, they assigned to Him the worst and least valuable (in their eyes), i.e., daughters, as Allah says:

أَلَكُمُ الذَّكَرُ وَلَهُ الاٍّنثَى - تِلْكَ إِذاً قِسْمَةٌ ضِيزَى

Is it for you the males and for Him the females That indeed is a division most unfair! (53:21-22)

And Allah says here:

وَجَعَلُوا لَهُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ جُزْءًا إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ لَكَفُورٌ مُّبِينٌ ﴿١٥

Yet, they assign to some of His servants a share with Him. Verily, man is indeed a manifest ingrate!

Then He says:

أَمِ اتَّخَذَ مِمَّا يَخْلُقُ بَنَاتٍ وَأَصْفَاكُم بِالْبَنِينَ ﴿١٦

Or has He taken daughters out of what He has created, and He has selected for you sons?

This is a denunciation of them in the strongest terms, as He goes on to say:

وَإِذَا بُشِّرَ أَحَدُهُم بِمَا ضَرَبَ لِلرَّحْمَنِ مَثَلًا ظَلَّ وَجْهُهُ مُسْوَدًّا وَهُوَ كَظِيمٌ ﴿١٧

And if one of them is informed of the news of that which he sets forth as a parable to the Most Gracious, his face becomes dark, and he is filled with grief!

means, if one of these people is given the news that there has been born to him one of those which he attributes to Allah, i.e., a daughter, he hates this news and it depresses and overwhelms him so much that he keeps away from people because he feels so ashamed.

Allah says, so how can they dislike that so much and yet they attribute it to Allah

أَوَمَن يُنَشَّأُ فِي الْحِلْيَةِ وَهُوَ فِي الْخِصَامِ غَيْرُ مُبِينٍ ﴿١٨

A creature who is brought up in adornments, and who in dispute cannot make itself clear,

means, women are regarded as lacking something, which they make up for with jewelry and adornments from the time of childhood onwards, and when there is a dispute, they cannot speak up and defend themselves clearly, so how can this be attributed to Allah

وَجَعَلُوا الْمَلَائِكَةَ الَّذِينَ هُمْ عِبَادُ الرَّحْمَنِ إِنَاثًا ...

And they make females the angels who themselves are servants of the Most Gracious.

means, that is what they believe about them, but Allah denounces them for that and says:

... أَشَهِدُوا خَلْقَهُمْ ...

Did they witness their creation?

meaning, did they see Allah creating them as females

... سَتُكْتَبُ شَهَادَتُهُمْ ...

Their testimony will be recorded,

means, concerning that,

... وَيُسْأَلُونَ ﴿١٩﴾

and they will be questioned!

means, about that, on the Day of Resurrection.

This is a stern warning and a serious threat.

وَقَالُوا لَوْ شَاء الرَّحْمَنُ مَا عَبَدْنَاهُم ...

And they said: "If it had been the will of the Most Gracious, we should not have worshipped them.''

means, (they said:) `if Allah had willed, He would have prevented us from worshipping these idols which are images of the angels who are the daughters of Allah; He knows about this and He approves of it.'

By saying this, they combined several types of error:

-        First: They attributed offspring to Allah -- exalted and sanctified be He far above that.

-        Second: They claimed that He chose daughters rather than sons, and they made the angels, who are the servants of the Most Gracious, female.

-        Third: They worshipped them with no proof, evidence or permission from Allah. This was based on mere opinion, whims and desires, imitation of their elders and forefathers, and pure ignorance. They used Allah's decree as an excuse, and this reasoning betrayed their ignorance.

-        Fourth: Allah denounced them for this in the strongest terms, for from the time He first sent Messengers and revealed Books, the command was to worship Him Alone with no partner or associate, and it was forbidden to worship anything other than Him.

Allah says:

وَلَقَدْ بَعَثْنَا فِى كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ رَّسُولاً أَنِ اعْبُدُواْ اللَّهَ وَاجْتَنِبُواْ الْطَّـغُوتَ فَمِنْهُم مَّنْ هَدَى اللَّهُ وَمِنْهُمْ مَّنْ حَقَّتْ عَلَيْهِ الضَّلَـلَةُ فَسِيرُواْ فِى الاٌّرْضِ فَانظُرُواْ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَـقِبَةُ الْمُكَذِّبِينَ

And verily, We have sent among every Ummah a Messenger (proclaiming): "Worship Allah, and avoid all false deities.''Then of them were some whom Allah guided and of them were some upon whom the straying was justified.So travel through the land and see what was the end of those who denied. (16:36)

وَاسْئلْ مَنْ أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ مِن رُّسُلِنَآ أَجَعَلْنَا مِن دُونِ الرَّحْمَـنِ ءَالِهَةً يُعْبَدُونَ

And ask those of Our Messengers whom We sent before you: "Did We ever appoint gods to be worshipped besides the Most Gracious'' (43:45)

And Allah says in this Ayah, after mentioning this argument of theirs:

... مَّا لَهُم بِذَلِكَ مِنْ عِلْمٍ ...

They have no knowledge whatsoever of that.

meaning, of the truth of what they say and the arguments they put forward.

... إِنْ هُمْ إِلَّا يَخْرُصُونَ ﴿٢٠﴾

They do nothing but lie!

means, they tell lies and fabricate untruths.

Mujahid said about مَّا لَهُم بِذَلِكَ مِنْ عِلْمٍ إِنْ هُمْ إِلَّا يَخْرُصُونَ   (They have no knowledge whatsoever of that. They do nothing but lie!),

"They do not appreciate the power of Allah.''

21.

Previous 15-20

أَمْ ءَاتَيْنَـهُمْ كِتَـباً مِّن قَبْلِهِ فَهُم بِهِ مُسْتَمْسِكُونَ

Or have We given them any Book before this (the Qur'an) to which they are holding fast?

22.

 بَلْ قَالُواْ إِنَّا وَجَدْنَآ ءَابَآءَنَا عَلَى أُمَّةٍ وَإِنَّا عَلَى ءَاثَـرِهِم مُّهْتَدُونَ

Nay! They say: "We found our fathers following a certain way and religion, and we guide ourselves by their footsteps.''

23.

  وَكَذَلِكَ مَآ أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ فِى قَرْيَةٍ مِّن نَّذِيرٍ إِلاَّ قَالَ

And similarly, We sent not a warner before you to any town (people) but the luxurious ones among them said:

مُتْرَفُوهَآ إِنَّا وَجَدْنَآ ءَابَآءَنَا عَلَى أُمَّةٍ وَإِنَّا عَلَى ءَاثَـرِهِم مُّقْتَدُونَ

"We found our fathers following a certain way and religion, and we will indeed follow their footsteps.''

24.

 قُلْ أَوَلَوْ جِئْتُكُمْ بِأَهْدَى مِمَّا وَجَدتُّمْ عَلَيْهِ ءَابَآءَكُمْ

He said: "Even if I bring you better guidance than that which you found your fathers following?''

قَالُواْ إِنَّا بِمَآ أُرْسِلْتُمْ بِهِ كَـفِرُونَ

They said: "Verily, we disbelieve in that with which you have been sent.''

25.

فَانتَقَمْنَا مِنْهُمْ فَانظُرْ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَـقِبَةُ الْمُكَذِّبِينَ 

So We took revenge on them, then see what was the end of those who denied.

 

Next 26-35   

The Idolators have no Proof

Allah condemns the idolators for worshipping others instead of Allah with no evidence or proof for doing so.

أَمْ آتَيْنَاهُمْ كِتَابًا مِّن قَبْلِهِ ...

Or have We given them any Book before this?

means, before their idolatry.

... فَهُم بِهِ مُسْتَمْسِكُونَ ﴿٢١﴾

to which they are holding fast,

means, with regard to what they are doing. This is not the case.

This is like the Ayah:

أَمْ أَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ سُلْطَـناً فَهُوَ يَتَكَلَّمُ بِمَا كَانُواْ بِهِ يُشْرِكُونَ

Or have We revealed to them an authority (a Scripture), which speaks of that which they have been associating with Him? (30:35)

meaning, that did not happen.

Then Allah says:

بَلْ قَالُوا إِنَّا وَجَدْنَا آبَاءنَا عَلَى أُمَّةٍ وَإِنَّا عَلَى آثَارِهِم مُّهْتَدُونَ ﴿٢٢

Nay! They say:"we found our fathers following a certain way and religion (Ummah), and we guide ourselves by their footsteps.''

meaning, they have no grounds for their belief in idolatry apart from the fact that they are imitating their fathers and forefathers who were following a certain Ummah or way, i.e., religion.

The word Ummah is used in a similar manner elsewhere, where Allah says:

إِنَّ هَـذِهِ أُمَّتُكُمْ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً

And verily, this your religion (Ummah) is one religion. (23:52),

and they said; 

... وَإِنَّا عَلَى آثَارِهِم ...

and we by their footsteps,

means, behind them.

... مُّهْتَدُونَ

We guide ourselves,

This is their claim with no evidence.

Then Allah points out that what these people say was already said by those who were like them among the nations of the past who disbelieved in the Messengers. Their hearts and their words are similar.

كَذَلِكَ مَآ أَتَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ مِّن رَّسُولٍ إِلاَّ قَالُواْ سَـحِرٌ أَوْ مَجْنُونٌ - أَتَوَاصَوْاْ بِهِ بَلْ هُمْ قَوْمٌ طَـغُونَ

Likewise, no Messenger came to those before them but they said: "A sorcerer or a madman!''Have they transmitted this saying to these?Nay, they are themselves a people transgressing beyond bounds! (51:52-53)

And Allah says here:

وَكَذَلِكَ مَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ فِي قَرْيَةٍ مِّن نَّذِيرٍ إِلَّا قَالَ مُتْرَفُوهَا إِنَّا وَجَدْنَا آبَاءنَا عَلَى أُمَّةٍ وَإِنَّا عَلَى آثَارِهِم مُّقْتَدُونَ ﴿٢٣

And similarly, We sent not a warner before you to any town (people) but the luxurious ones among them said:"We found our fathers following a certain way and religion, and we will indeed follow their footsteps.''

Then He says:

قَالَ أَوَلَوْ جِئْتُكُم بِأَهْدَى مِمَّا وَجَدتُّمْ عَلَيْهِ آبَاءكُمْ قَالُوا إِنَّا بِمَا أُرْسِلْتُم بِهِ كَافِرُونَ ﴿٢٤

He said: "Even if I bring you better guidance than that which you found your fathers following''

They said: "Verily, we disbelieve in that with which you have been sent.''

`Even if they were convinced of the truth of what you have brought to them, they will not follow it, because of their evil intentions and their arrogance towards the truth and its people.'

فَانتَقَمْنَا مِنْهُمْ ...

So We took revenge on them,

means, on the disbelieving nations, by inflicting various kinds of punishments, as Allah has described in the stories of those nations.

... فَانظُرْ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الْمُكَذِّبِينَ ﴿٢٥﴾

then see what was the end of those who denied.

means, see what became of them, how they were destroyed and how Allah saved the believers.

26.

Previous 21-25

وَإِذْ قَالَ إِبْرَهِيمُ لاًّبِيهِ وَقَوْمِهِ

And (remember) when Ibrahim said to his father and his people:

إِنَّنِى بَرَآءٌ مِّمَّا تَعْبُدُونَ

"Verily, I am innocent of what you worship,''

27.

 إِلاَّ الَّذِى فَطَرَنِى فَإِنَّهُ سَيَهْدِينِ

"Except Him Who created me; and verily, He will guide me.''

28.

 وَجَعَلَهَا كَلِمَةً بَـقِيَةً فِى عَقِبِهِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ

And he made it a word lasting among his offspring, that they may turn back.

29.

 بَلْ مَتَّعْتُ هَـؤُلاَءِ وَءَابَآءَهُمْ حَتَّى جَآءَهُمُ الْحَقُّ وَرَسُولٌ مُّبِينٌ

Nay, but I gave to these and their fathers to enjoy, till there came to them the truth, and a Messenger making things clear.

30.

وَلَمَّا جَآءَهُمُ الْحَقُّ قَالُواْ هَـذَا سِحْرٌ وَإِنَّا بِهِ كَـفِرُونَ

And when the truth came to them, they said: "This is magic, and we disbelieve therein.''

31.

وَقَالُواْ لَوْلاَ نُزِّلَ هَـذَا الْقُرْءَانُ عَلَى رَجُلٍ مِّنَ الْقَرْيَتَيْنِ عَظِيمٍ

And they say: "Why is not this Qur'an sent down to some great man of the two towns?''

32.

أَهُمْ يَقْسِمُونَ رَحْمَةَ رَبِّكَ

Is it they who would portion out the mercy of your Lord?

نَحْنُ قَسَمْنَا بَيْنَهُم مَّعِيشَتَهُمْ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَرَفَعْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ فَوْقَ بَعْضٍ دَرَجَاتٍ لِيَتَّخِذَ بَعْضُهُم بَعْضًا سُخْرِيًّا

It is We Who portion out between them their livelihood in this world, and We raised some of them above others in ranks, so that some may employ others in their work.

وَرَحْمَتُ رَبِّكَ خَيْرٌ مِّمَّا يَجْمَعُونَ

But the mercy of your Lord is better than what they amass.

33.

وَلَوْلاَ أَن يَكُونَ النَّاسُ أُمَّةً وَحِدَةً لَّجَعَلْنَا لِمَن يَكْفُرُ بِالرَّحْمَـنِ لِبُيُوتِهِمْ سُقُفاً مِّن فِضَّةٍ وَمَعَارِجَ عَلَيْهَا يَظْهَرُونَ

And were it not that mankind would have become of one community, We would have provided for those who disbelieve in the Most Gracious, silver roofs for their houses, and elevators whereby they ascend,

34.

 وَلِبُيُوتِهِمْ أَبْوَباً وَسُرُراً عَلَيْهَا يَتَّكِئُونَ

And for their houses, doors, and thrones on which they could recline,

35

وَزُخْرُفاً

43:35 And adornments of gold.

وَإِن كُلُّ ذَلِكَ لَمَّا مَتَـعُ الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا وَالاٌّخِرَةُ عِندَ رَبِّكَ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ 

Yet all this would have been nothing but an enjoyment of this world. And the Hereafter with your Lord is for those who have Taqwa. 

 

Next 36-45   

 Ibrahim's Declaration of Tawhid Here

Allah reminds,

وَإِذْ قَالَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ لِأَبِيهِ وَقَوْمِهِ ...

And (remember) when Ibrahim said to his father and his people:

Allah tells us about His servant, Messenger and close Friend, the leader of the monotheists and the father of all subsequent Prophets, from whom Quraysh were descended and claimed to have taken their religion.

He disowned his father's and his people's worship of idols and said:

... إِنَّنِي بَرَاء مِّمَّا تَعْبُدُونَ ﴿٢٦﴾

"Verily, I am innocent of what you worship,

إِلَّا الَّذِي فَطَرَنِي فَإِنَّهُ سَيَهْدِينِ ﴿٢٧

except Him Who created me; and verily, He will guide me.''

وَجَعَلَهَا كَلِمَةً بَاقِيَةً فِي عَقِبِهِ ...

And he made it a Word lasting among his offspring,

The Word means the worship of Allah Alone with no partner or associate, and the denunciation of all gods apart from Him, i.e., La ilaha illallah. He left this word as an example to be followed by those of his progeny who were guided by Allah.

... لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ ﴿٢٨﴾

that they may turn back.

means, come back to this word.

Ikrimah, Mujahid, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah, As-Suddi and others commented on the Ayah: وَجَعَلَهَا كَلِمَةً بَاقِيَةً فِي عَقِبِهِ  "This means, La ilaha illallah, and there are still those among his offspring who say it.''

A similar view was narrated from Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him.

Ibn Zayd said, "The word of Islam,'' which refers to the same thing suggested by the group.

How the People of Makkah turned away from the Messenger and opposed Him, and His Response

Allah further says:

بَلْ مَتَّعْتُ هَؤُلَاء وَآبَاءهُمْ  

Nay, but I gave to these, (idolators), and their fathers,

means, they lived a long life in their misguidance.

... حَتَّى جَاءهُمُ الْحَقُّ وَرَسُولٌ مُّبِينٌ ﴿٢٩﴾

till there came to them the truth, and a Messenger making things clear.

means, his message is clear and his warning is clear.

وَلَمَّا جَاءهُمُ الْحَقُّ قَالُوا هَذَا سِحْرٌ وَإِنَّا بِهِ كَافِرُونَ ﴿٣٠

And when the truth came to them, they said: "This is magic, and we disbelieve therein.''

means, they were arrogant and stubborn, and they pushed him away out of disbelief, envy and transgression.

وَقَالُوا ...

And they say,

means, objecting to that which Allah has revealed to him,

... لَوْلَا نُزِّلَ هَذَا الْقُرْآنُ عَلَى رَجُلٍ مِّنَ الْقَرْيَتَيْنِ عَظِيمٍ ﴿٣١﴾

Why is not this Qur'an sent down to some great man of the two towns?

meaning, why was this Qur'an not revealed to some man who was great and prominent in their eyes, from the two towns, i.e., Makkah and At-Ta'if.

This was the view of Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, Ikrimah, Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi, Qatadah, As-Suddi and Ibn Zayd.

Several scholars of Tafsir stated that by this, the Quraysh meant Al-Walid bin Al-Mughirah and Urwah bin Mas`ud Ath-Thaqafi.

The apparent meaning is that what they meant was a great man from either of the two towns.

Allah responded to their rejection by saying:

أَهُمْ يَقْسِمُونَ رَحْمَةَ رَبِّكَ ...

Is it they who would portion out the mercy of your Lord?

meaning, the matter has nothing to do with them; it is for Allah to decide. Allah knows best where to direct His Message, and He does not reveal it except to the one who is the purest in heart and soul, and of the noblest descent. Then Allah points out that He differentiates among His creation in terms of what He gives them of wealth, provision, intellect, understanding and other visible and hidden strengths:

... نَحْنُ قَسَمْنَا بَيْنَهُم مَّعِيشَتَهُمْ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا ...

It is We Who portion out between them their livelihood in this world,

... وَرَفَعْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ فَوْقَ بَعْضٍ دَرَجَاتٍ لِيَتَّخِذَ بَعْضُهُم بَعْضًا سُخْرِيًّا

and We raised some of them above others in ranks,so that some may employ others in their work.

It was said that this means that some employ others in their work, because one needs the other, and vice versa.

This was the view of As-Suddi and others.

... وَرَحْمَتُ رَبِّكَ خَيْرٌ مِّمَّا يَجْمَعُونَ ﴿٣٢﴾

But the mercy of your Lord is better than which they amass.

means, the mercy of Allah towards His creation is better for them than the wealth and conveniences of this world which they possess.

Wealth is not a Sign of Divine Pleasure

Allah says,

وَلَوْلَا أَن يَكُونَ النَّاسُ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً ...

And were it not that mankind would have become of one community,

means, `were it not for the fact that many ignorant people would think that Our giving them wealth was a sign that We love the person to whom We give it, and thus they would have agreed upon disbelief for the sake of wealth.'

This is the view of Ibn Abbas, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, As-Suddi and others.

... لَجَعَلْنَا لِمَن يَكْفُرُ بِالرَّحْمَنِ لِبُيُوتِهِمْ سُقُفًا مِّن فَضَّةٍ وَمَعَارِجَ ...

We would have provided for those who disbelieve in the Most Gracious, silver roofs for their houses, and elevators,

means, ladders and staircases of silver.

This was the view of Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Qatadah, As-Suddi, Ibn Zayd and others.

... عَلَيْهَا يَظْهَرُونَ ﴿٣٣﴾

whereby they ascend,

means, go up.

وَلِبُيُوتِهِمْ أَبْوَابًا ...

And for their houses, doors,

And their houses would have doors, i.e., locks on their doors,

... وَسُرُرًا عَلَيْهَا يَتَّكِؤُونَ ﴿٣٤﴾

and thrones on which they could recline,

means, all of that would be made of silver.

وَزُخْرُفًا ...

And adornments,

means, and gold. This was the view of Ibn Abbas, Qatadah, As-Suddi and Ibn Zayd.

... وَإِن كُلُّ ذَلِكَ لَمَّا مَتَاعُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا ...

Yet all this would have been nothing but an enjoyment of this world.

means, all that belongs to this transient world which is insignificant before Allah. He hastens their reward for good deeds in the form of luxuries in this world, so that when they reach the Hereafter, they will have no good merits with Allah for which they may be rewarded, as was reported in the Sahih Hadith.

It was reported in another Hadith:

لَوْ أَنَّ الدُّنْيَا تَزِنُ عِنْدَ اللهِ جَنَاحَ بَعُوضَةٍ مَا سَقَى مِنْهَا كَافِرًا شَرْبَةَ مَاء

If this world were worth a gnat's wing before Allah, He would not give a disbeliever a drink of water.

Al-Baghawi narrated its chain of narration.

... وَالْآخِرَةُ عِندَ رَبِّكَ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ ﴿٣٥﴾

And the Hereafter with your Lord is (only) for those who have Taqwa.

means, it is exclusively for them, and no one else will share it with them.

When Umar bin Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, visited the Messenger of Allah in seclusion, when he was keeping away from his wives, and he saw him resting on a rough mat which had left marks on his side, his eyes filled with tears and he said,

"O Messenger of Allah, look at this Chosroes and this Caesar with all that they have, and you are the best of Allah's creation.''

The Messenger of Allah was reclining, but he sat up and said:

أَوَ فِي شَكَ أَنْتَ يَا ابْنَ الْخَطَّابِ؟

Are you in doubt, O son of Al-Khattab?

Then he said:

أُولئِكَ قَوْمٌ عُجِّلَتْ لَهُمْ طَـيِّـبَاتُهُمْ فِي حَيَاتِهِمُ الدُّنْيَا

Those are people for whom the enjoyments are hastened in this world.

According to another report:

أَمَا تَرْضَى أَنْ تَــكُونَ لَهُمُ الدُّنْيَا وَلَنَا الْاخِرَة

Does it not please you that this world is for them and the Hereafter is for us?

In as the Two Sahihs and elsewhere, it is reported that the Messenger of Allah said:

لَا تَشْرَبُوا فِي آنِيَةِ الذَّهَبِ وَالْفِضَّةِ، وَلَا تَأْكُلُوا فِي صِحَافِهَا، فَإِنَّهَا لَهُمْ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَلَنَا فِي الْاخِرَة

Do not drink from vessels of gold and silver, and do not eat from plates of the same, for these things are for them in this world and for us in the Hereafter.

Allah has granted these things to them in this world because it is insignificant, as was reported by At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah via Abu Hazim from Sahl bin Sa`d, who said, "The Messenger of Allah said:

لَوْ كَانَتِ الدُّنْيَا تَزِنُ عِنْدَ اللهِ جَنَاحَ بَعُوضَةٍ مَا سَقَى مِنْهَا كَافِرًا شَرْبَةَ مَاءٍ أَبَدًا

"If this world were worth a gnat's wing before Allah, He would never give a disbeliever a drink of water.''

At-Tirmidhi said: "Hasan Sahih.''

36.

Previous 26-35

وَمَن يَعْشُ عَن ذِكْرِ الرَّحْمَـنِ نُقَيِّضْ لَهُ شَيْطَاناً فَهُوَ لَهُ قَرِينٌ

And whosoever Ya`shu (turns away blindly) from the remembrance of the Most Gracious, We appoint for him Shaytan to be a Qarin (a companion) to him.

37.

 وَإِنَّهُمْ لَيَصُدُّونَهُمْ عَنِ السَّبِيلِ وَيَحْسَبُونَ أَنَّهُم مُّهْتَدُونَ

And verily, they hinder them from the path, but they think that they are guided aright!

38.

 حَتَّى إِذَا جَآءَنَا قَالَ يلَيْتَ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَكَ بُعْدَ الْمَشْرِقَيْنِ فَبِئْسَ الْقَرِينُ

Till, when (such a one) comes to Us, he says, "Would that between me and you were the distance of the two easts (or the east and west) a worst companion (indeed)!''

39.

 وَلَن يَنفَعَكُمُ الْيَوْمَ إِذ ظَّلَمْتُمْ أَنَّكُمْ فِى الْعَذَابِ مُشْتَرِكُونَ

It will profit you not this Day as you did wrong, (and) that you will be sharers in the punishment.

40.

أَفَأَنتَ تُسْمِعُ الصُّمَّ أَوْ تَهْدِى الْعُمْىَ وَمَن كَانَ فِى ضَلَـلٍ مُّبِينٍ

Can you make the deaf to hear, or can you guide the blind or him who is in manifest error?

41.

فَإِمَّا نَذْهَبَنَّ بِكَ فَإِنَّا مِنْهُم مُّنتَقِمُونَ

And even if We take you away, We shall indeed take vengeance on them.

42.

أَوْ نُرِيَنَّكَ الَّذِى وَعَدْنَـهُمْ فَإِنَّا عَلَيْهِمْ مُّقْتَدِرُونَ

Or (if) We show you that wherewith We threaten them, then verily, We have perfect command over them.

43.

فَاسْتَمْسِكْ بِالَّذِى أُوحِىَ إِلَيْكَ

So hold you fast to that which is revealed to you.

إِنَّكَ عَلَى صِرَطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ

Verily, you are on the straight path.

44.

وَإِنَّهُ لَذِكْرٌ لَّكَ وَلِقَوْمِكَ وَسَوْفَ تُسْـَلُونَ

And verily, this is indeed a Dhikr for you and your people, and you will be questioned.

45

وَاسْئلْ مَنْ أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ مِن رُّسُلِنَآ

And ask whom We sent before you of Our Messengers:

أَجَعَلْنَا مِن دُونِ الرَّحْمَـنِ ءَالِهَةً يُعْبَدُونَ 

 "Did We ever appoint gods to be worshipped besides the Most Gracious?'' 

 

Next 46-50   

The Shaytan is the Companion of the One Who turns away from Ar-Rahman

Allah says,

وَمَن يَعْشُ ...

And whosoever Ya`shu (turns away blindly),

means, whoever willfully ignores and turns away

Al-`Asha (the root of Ya`sh) refers to weakness of vision; what is meant here is weakness of insight.

... عَن ذِكْرِ الرَّحْمَنِ ...

from the remembrance of the Most Gracious,

... نُقَيِّضْ لَهُ شَيْطَانًا فَهُوَ لَهُ قَرِينٌ ﴿٣٦﴾

We appoint for him Shaytan to be a Qarin (a companion) to him.

This is like the Ayat:

وَمَن يُشَاقِقِ الرَّسُولَ مِن بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُ الْهُدَى

And whoever contradicts and opposes the Messenger after the right path has been shown clearly to him, (4:115),

فَلَمَّا زَاغُواْ أَزَاغَ اللَّهُ قُلُوبَهُمْ

So when they turned away, Allah turned their hearts away, (61:5)

وَقَيَّضْنَا لَهُمْ قُرَنَآءَ فَزَيَّنُواْ لَهُم مَّا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمَا خَلْفَهُمْ

And We have assigned for them intimate companions, who have made fair seeming to them, what was before them and what was behind them, (41:25)

Allah says here:

وَإِنَّهُمْ لَيَصُدُّونَهُمْ عَنِ السَّبِيلِ وَيَحْسَبُونَ أَنَّهُم مُّهْتَدُونَ ﴿٣٧

And verily, they hinder them from the path, but they think that they are guided aright!

حَتَّى إِذَا جَاءنَا ...

Until, when he comes to Us,

meaning, for this person who willfully neglects true guidance, We send to him a Shaytan to lead him astray and show him the path to Hell. When he comes before Allah on the Day of Resurrection, he will complain about the Shaytan who was appointed to accompany him.

Some of them recited it; حَتْى إِذَا جَاءنَا (Till, when they both come to Us), referring to the companion Shaytan and the one whom he accompanies.

... قَالَ يَا لَيْتَ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَكَ بُعْدَ الْمَشْرِقَيْنِ فَبِئْسَ الْقَرِينُ ﴿٣٨﴾

he says, "Would that between me and you were the distance of the two easts -- a worst companion (indeed)!''

Then Allah says:

وَلَن يَنفَعَكُمُ الْيَوْمَ إِذ ظَّلَمْتُمْ أَنَّكُمْ فِي الْعَذَابِ مُشْتَرِكُونَ ﴿٣٩

It will profit you not this Day as you did wrong, (and) that you will be sharers in the punishment.

means, `your being together in the Fire will not help you in the slightest, and you will both partake of the painful punishment.'

Allah says:

أَفَأَنتَ تُسْمِعُ الصُّمَّ أَوْ تَهْدِي الْعُمْيَ وَمَن كَانَ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ ﴿٤٠

Can you make the deaf to hear, or can you guide the blind or him who is in manifest error?

means, `that is not up to you. All you have to do is convey the Message, but you do not have to guide them. Allah guides whomsoever He wills and sends astray whomsoever He wills, and He is Wise and Just in doing so.'

Allah's Vengeance upon the Enemies of His Messenger will surely come to pass

Allah further says:

فَإِمَّا نَذْهَبَنَّ بِكَ فَإِنَّا مِنْهُم مُّنتَقِمُونَ ﴿٤١

And even if We take you away, We shall indeed take vengeance on them.

means, `We will inevitably wreak vengeance upon them and punish them, even if you pass away.'

أَوْ نُرِيَنَّكَ الَّذِي وَعَدْنَاهُمْ فَإِنَّا عَلَيْهِم مُّقْتَدِرُونَ ﴿٤٢

Or (if) We show you that wherewith We threaten them, then verily, We have perfect command over them.

means, `We are able to do both,' but Allah will not take His Messenger (in death) until He gives him the joy of seeing his enemies brought low and gives him power and authority over them and their wealth.

This was the view of As-Suddi and was the opinion favored by Ibn Jarir.

Encouragement to adhere to the Qur'an

Allah then says;

فَاسْتَمْسِكْ بِالَّذِي أُوحِيَ إِلَيْكَ إِنَّكَ عَلَى صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ ﴿٤٣

So hold you fast to that which is revealed to you. Verily, you are on the straight path.

means, hold fast to the Qur'an which has been sent down to your heart, for it is truth and what it leads to is truth that shows the way to the straight path that leads to Gardens of Delight and eternal, everlasting goodness.

وَإِنَّهُ لَذِكْرٌ لَّكَ وَلِقَوْمِكَ ...

And verily, this is a Dhikr for you and your people,

It was said that this means, `it is an honor for you and your people;'

this was the view of Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, Mujahid, Qatadah, As-Suddi and Ibn Zayd.

This means that it is an honor for them in that it was revealed in their language, so they are the people who have the best understanding of it among mankind and hence are obliged to be the most steadfast in adhering to its commandments. This is how the best of them were, the first immigrants and those who emulated them and followed them.

It was also said that the meaning of the phrase; وَإِنَّهُ لَذِكْرٌ لَّكَ وَلِقَوْمِكَ   was that `it was sent to remind you and your people.'

The fact that they are singled out does not exclude others. This is like the Ayat:

لَقَدْ أَنزَلْنَآ إِلَيْكُمْ كِتَـباً فِيهِ ذِكْرُكُمْ أَفَلاَ تَعْقِلُونَ

Indeed, We have sent down for you (O mankind) a Book in which there is Dhikrukum (your Reminder). Will you not then understand? (21:10)

وَأَنذِرْ عَشِيرَتَكَ الاٌّقْرَبِينَ

And warn your tribe of near kindred, (26:214)

... وَسَوْفَ تُسْأَلُونَ ﴿٤٤﴾

and you will be questioned.

means, `about this Qur'an, and how you acted upon it and what your response to it was.'

وَاسْأَلْ مَنْ أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ مِن رُّسُلِنَا أَجَعَلْنَا مِن دُونِ الرَّحْمَنِ آلِهَةً يُعْبَدُونَ ﴿٤٥

And ask whom We sent before you of Our Messengers: "Did We ever appoint gods to be worshipped besides the Most Gracious?''

means, `all the Messengers called their people to the same as that to which you are calling mankind, namely the worship of Allah Alone with no partner or associate, and they forbade the worship of idols and false gods.'

This is like the Ayah:

وَلَقَدْ بَعَثْنَا فِى كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ رَّسُولاً أَنِ اعْبُدُواْ اللَّهَ وَاجْتَنِبُواْ الْطَّـغُوتَ

And verily, We have sent among every Ummah (nation) a Messenger (proclaiming): "Worship Allah, and avoid all false deities.'' (16:36)

Mujahid said that Abdullah bin Mas`ud recited it: وَاسْأَلْ الَّذِينَ أَرْسَلْنَا إِ لَيْهِمْ قَبْلِكَ مِن رُّسُلِنَا   (And ask those whom We sent before you of Our Messengers).

This was narrated by Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak and As-Suddi from Ibn Mas`ud, may Allah be pleased with him.

Yet this appears to be an explanation rather than an alternate version of recitation. And Allah knows best.

46.

Previous 36-45

وَلَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا مُوسَى بِـَايَـتِنَآ إِلَى فِرْعَوْنَ وَمَلاًّيْهِ

And indeed We did send Musa with Our Ayat to Fir`awn and his chiefs.

فَقَالَ إِنِّى رَسُولُ رَبِّ الْعَـلَمِينَ

He said: "Verily, I am a Messenger of the Lord of all that exists.''

47.

 فَلَمَّا جَآءَهُم بِـَايَـتِنَآ إِذَا هُم مِّنْهَا يَضْحَكُونَ

But when he came to them with Our Ayat, behold, they laughed at them.

48.

 وَمَا نُرِيِهِم مِّنْ ءَايَةٍ إِلاَّ هِىَ أَكْبَرُ مِنْ أُخْتِهَا وَأَخَذْنَـهُم بِالْعَذَابِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ

And not an Ayah We showed them but it was greater than its fellow preceding it, and We seized them with torment, in order that they might turn.

49.

 وَقَالُوا يَا أَيُّهَا السَّاحِرُ ادْعُ لَنَا رَبَّكَ بِمَا عَهِدَ عِندَكَ إِنَّنَا لَمُهْتَدُونَ

And they said (to Musa):

"O you sorcerer! Invoke your Lord for us according to what He has made a pact with you. Verily, We shall guide ourselves.''

50.

فَلَمَّا كَشَفْنَا عَنْهُمُ الْعَذَابَ إِذَا هُمْ يَنكُثُونَ 

But when We removed the torment from them, behold, they broke their covenant.

 

Next 51-56   

Musa was sent with the Message of Tawhid to Fir`awn and His Chiefs

Allah tells,

وَلَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا مُوسَى بِآيَاتِنَا إِلَى فِرْعَوْنَ وَمَلَئِهِ فَقَالَ إِنِّي رَسُولُ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ ﴿٤٦

And indeed We did send Musa with Our Ayat to Fir`awn and his chiefs. He said: "Verily, I am a Messenger of the Lord of all that exists.''

فَلَمَّا جَاءهُم بِآيَاتِنَا إِذَا هُم مِّنْهَا يَضْحَكُونَ ﴿٤٧

But when he came to them with Our Ayat, behold, they laughed at them.

Here Allah tells us about His servant and Messenger Musa, peace be upon him, and how He sent him to Fir`awn and his chiefs. That is, his governors, ministers, leaders and followers among the Egyptians and the Children of Israel.

Allah sent him to call them to worship Allah alone, with no partner or associate, and to forbid them from worshipping anything other than Him. He sent him with mighty signs, such as his hand and his staff, other signs such as the flood, locusts, Qummal, frogs and blood, and the loss of their crops and lives. Yet despite all that they remained arrogant and stubbornly refused to follow him; they rejected his message and made fun of it, and laughed at the one who had brought it.

وَمَا نُرِيهِم مِّنْ آيَةٍ إِلَّا هِيَ أَكْبَرُ مِنْ أُخْتِهَا ...

And not an Ayah We showed them but it was greater than its fellow preceding it,

but despite that they would not give up their sin, misguidance, ignorance and confusion.

... وَأَخَذْنَاهُم بِالْعَذَابِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ ﴿٤٨﴾

and We seized them with torment, in order that they might turn.

وَقَالُوا ...

And they said (to Musa):

Every time one of these signs came to them, they would go and implore Musa, saying,

... يَا أَيُّهَا السَّاحِرُ ...

"O you sorcerer!...''

meaning, expert or knowledgeable one -- this was the view of Ibn Jarir.

The scholars of that time were the sorcerers or magicians, and magic was not regarded as something reprehensible by them at that time, so this was not a slight on their part. They were in a state of need, so it would not have been appropriate for them to insult him. This was a way of honoring him, as they thought.

... ادْعُ لَنَا رَبَّكَ بِمَا عَهِدَ عِندَكَ إِنَّنَا لَمُهْتَدُونَ ﴿٤٩

Invoke your Lord for us according to what He has made a pact with you. Verily, We shall guide ourselves.''

فَلَمَّا كَشَفْنَا عَنْهُمُ الْعَذَابَ إِذَا هُمْ يَنكُثُونَ ﴿٥٠

But when We removed the torment from them, behold, they broke their covenant.

On each occasion, they promised Musa that if the torment was lifted from them, they would believe in him and let the Children of Israel go with him, but on each occasion they went back on their word.

This is like the Ayat:

فَأَرْسَلْنَا عَلَيْهِمُ الطُّوفَانَ وَالْجَرَادَ وَالْقُمَّلَ وَالضَّفَادِعَ وَالدَّمَ ءَايَـتٍ مّفَصَّلاَتٍ فَاسْتَكْبَرُواْ وَكَانُواْ قَوْماً مُّجْرِمِينَ - وَلَمَّا وَقَعَ عَلَيْهِمُ الرِّجْزُ قَالُواْ يَمُوسَى ادْعُ لَنَا رَبَّكَ بِمَا عَهِدَ عِندَكَ لَئِن كَشَفْتَ عَنَّا الرِّجْزَ لَنُؤْمِنَنَّ لَكَ وَلَنُرْسِلَنَّ مَعَكَ بَنِى إِسْرَءِيلَ - فَلَمَّا كَشَفْنَا عَنْهُمُ الرِّجْزَ إِلَى أَجَلٍ هُم بَـلِغُوهُ إِذَا هُمْ يَنكُثُونَ

So We sent on them: the flood, the locusts, the Qummal, the frogs, and the blood; manifest signs, yet they remained arrogant, and they were of those people who were criminals.

And when the punishment struck them, they said: "O Musa! Invoke your Lord for us because of His promise to you. If you remove the punishment from us, we indeed shall believe in you, and we shall let the Children of Israel go with you.

''But when We removed the punishment from them to a fixed term, which they had to reach, behold! they broke their word! (7:133-135)

51.

Previous 46-50

وَنَادَى فِرْعَوْنُ فِى قَوْمِهِ قَالَ يقَوْمِ أَلَيْسَ لِى مُلْكُ مِصْرَ وَهَـذِهِ الاٌّنْهَـرُ تَجْرِى مِن تَحْتِى أَفَلاَ تُبْصِرُونَ

And Fir`awn proclaimed among his people (saying): "O my people! Is not mine the dominion of Egypt, and these rivers flowing underneath me. See you not then?''

52.

 أَمْ أَنَآ خَيْرٌ مِّنْ هَـذَا الَّذِى هُوَ مَهِينٌ وَلاَ يَكَادُ يُبِينُ

"Am I not better than this one (Musa) who is despicable and can scarcely express himself clearly?''

53.

 فَلَوْلاَ أُلْقِىَ عَلَيْهِ أَسْوِرَةٌ مِّن ذَهَبٍ أَوْ جَآءَ مَعَهُ الْمَلَـئِكَةُ مُقْتَرِنِينَ

Why then are not golden bracelets bestowed on him, or angels sent along with him?''

54.

  فَاسْتَخَفَّ قَوْمَهُ فَأَطَاعُوهُ

Thus he fooled his people, and they obeyed him.

إِنَّهُمْ كَانُواْ قَوْماً فَـسِقِينَ

Verily, they were ever a people who were rebellious.

55.

فَلَمَّآ ءَاسَفُونَا انتَقَمْنَا مِنْهُمْ فَأَغْرَقْنَـهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ

So when they angered Us, We punished them, and drowned them all.

56.

فَجَعَلْنَـهُمْ سَلَفاً وَمَثَلاً لِّلاٌّخِرِينَ

And We made them a precedent, and an example to later generations.   

 

Next 57-65   

 Fir`awn's Address to His People and how Allah punished Him

Allah informs that;

وَنَادَى فِرْعَوْنُ فِي قَوْمِهِ قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ ...

And Fir`awn proclaimed among his people (saying): "O my people!

Allah tells us how Fir`awn stubbornly persisted in his rebellion and disbelief. He assembled his people and addressed them in a vainglorious fashion, boasting of his dominion over Egypt.

... أَلَيْسَ لِي مُلْكُ مِصْرَ وَهَذِهِ الْأَنْهَارُ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِي ...

Is not mine the dominion of Egypt, and these rivers flowing underneath me?

Qatadah said, "They had gardens and rivers of flowing water.''

... أَفَلَا تُبْصِرُونَ ﴿٥١﴾

See you not then?

means, `do you not see my position of might and power' -- implying that Musa and his followers were poor and weak.

This is like the Ayah:

فَحَشَرَ فَنَادَى - فَقَالَ أَنَاْ رَبُّكُمُ الاٌّعْلَى - فَأَخَذَهُ اللَّهُ نَكَالَ الاٌّخِرَةِ وَالاٍّوْلَى

Then he gathered (his people) and cried aloud, saying: "I am your lord, most high.''

So Allah seized him with punishment for his last and first transgression. (79:23-25)

أَمْ أَنَا خَيْرٌ مِّنْ هَذَا الَّذِي هُوَ مَهِينٌ ...

Am I not better than this one who is despicable?

As-Suddi said,

"He was saying, `indeed I am better than this one, who is despicable'.''

Some of the grammarians of Basrah said that Fir`awn -- may the curse of Allah be upon him -- was saying that he was better than Musa, peace be upon him. But this is an obvious lie, may continued curses be upon him until the Day of Resurrection.

By describing Musa as despicable he meant -- as Sufyan said -- insignificant.

Qatadah and As-Suddi said, "He meant, weak.''

Ibn Jarir said, "He meant, he had no power, authority or wealth.''

... وَلَا يَكَادُ يُبِينُ ﴿٥٢﴾

and can scarcely express himself clearly.

means, he cannot speak clearly, he stammers and cannot speak well.

Fir`awn's description of Musa as "despicable'' is a lie; rather it is he who was despicable and insignificant, lacking in physical, moral and religious terms, and it is Musa who was noble, truthful, righteous and upright.

وَلَا يَكَادُ يُبِينُ (and can scarcely express himself clearly).

This was also a lie. Although something happened to Musa's tongue when he was a child, when it was burnt by a coal. He asked Allah to loosen the knot from his tongue (i.e., to correct his speech defect) so that they could understand what he said, and Allah had answered his prayer and said:

قَدْ أُوتِيتَ سُؤْلَكَ يمُوسَى

You are granted your request, O Musa, (20:36).

It may be the case that some problem remained which he had not asked to be relieved of, as Al-Hasan Al-Basri suggested, and that he had asked only to be relieved of that which stood in the way of his conveying the Message. A person cannot be blamed for physical matters over which he has no control. Even though Fir`awn had the intelligence to understand that, he wanted to confuse and mislead his people, who were ignorant and stupid. So he said:

فَلَوْلَا أُلْقِيَ عَلَيْهِ أَسْوِرَةٌ مِّن ذَهَبٍ ...

Why then are not golden bracelets bestowed on him...

meaning, adornments which are placed on the arms.

This was the view of Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, Qatadah and others.

... أَوْ جَاء مَعَهُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ مُقْتَرِنِينَ ﴿٥٣﴾

or angels sent along with him.

meaning, to serve him and to testify that he is telling the truth. He looked only at outward appearances and did not understand the true inner matters that are clearer than what he focused on, if only he had understood that.

Allah says:

فَاسْتَخَفَّ قَوْمَهُ فَأَطَاعُوهُ ...

Thus he fooled his people, and they obeyed him.

meaning, he confused them and invited them to misguidance, and they responded to him.

... إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا قَوْمًا فَاسِقِينَ ﴿٥٤﴾

Verily, they were ever a people who were rebellious.

Then Allah says:

فَلَمَّا آسَفُونَا انتَقَمْنَا مِنْهُمْ فَأَغْرَقْنَاهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ ﴿٥٥

So when they angered Us, We punished them, and drowned them all.

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said it means:

"When they angered Us means, they provoked Our wrath.''

Ad-Dahhak said, it means

"They made Us angry.''

This was also the view of Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi, Qatadah, As-Suddi and other scholars of Tafsir.

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Uqbah bin `Amir, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Messenger of Allah said:

إِذَا رَأَيْتَ اللهَ تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى يُعْطِي الْعَبْدَ مَا يَشَاءُ، وَهُوَ مُقِيمٌ عَلى مَعَاصِيهِ، فَإِنَّمَا ذَلِكَ اسْتِدْرَاجٌ مِنْهُ لَه

When you see that Allah gives a person what he wants even though he is persisting in sin, that means that Allah is enticing him into destruction.

Then he recited: فَلَمَّا آسَفُونَا انتَقَمْنَا مِنْهُمْ فَأَغْرَقْنَاهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ   (So when they angered Us, We punished them, and drowned them all).

It was reported that Tariq bin Shihab said,

"I was with Abdullah, may Allah be pleased with him, and the issue of sudden death was mentioned. He said, `It is a relief for the believer and a source of regret for the disbeliever.'

Then he recited the Ayah: فَلَمَّا آسَفُونَا انتَقَمْنَا مِنْهُمْ فَأَغْرَقْنَاهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ     (So when they angered Us, We punished them, and drowned them all).''

Umar bin Abdul-Aziz, may Allah be pleased with him, said,

"I found that punishment comes with negligence, meaning the Ayah: فَلَمَّا آسَفُونَا انتَقَمْنَا مِنْهُمْ فَأَغْرَقْنَاهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ   (So when they angered Us, We punished them, and drowned them all).''

فَجَعَلْنَاهُمْ سَلَفًا وَمَثَلًا لِلْآخِرِينَ ﴿٥٦

And We made them a precedent, and an example to later generations.

Abu Mijlaz said,

"Precedent for others who do the same as they did.''

He and Mujahid said,

"An example, i.e., a lesson to those who come after them.''

Allah is the One Who guides to the straight path, and unto Him is the final return.

 

57.

Previous 51-56

وَلَمَّا ضُرِبَ ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ مَثَلاً إِذَا قَوْمُكَ مِنْهُ يَصِدُّونَ

And when the son of Maryam is quoted as an example, behold, your people cry aloud thereat.

58.

 وَقَالُواْ ءَأَالِهَتُنَا خَيْرٌ أَمْ هُوَ

And say: "Are our gods better or is he?''

مَا ضَرَبُوهُ لَكَ إِلاَّ جَدَلاَ

They quoted not the above example except for argument.

بَلْ هُمْ قَوْمٌ خَصِمُونَ

Nay! But they are a quarrelsome people.

59.

 إِنْ هُوَ إِلاَّ عَبْدٌ أَنْعَمْنَا عَلَيْهِ وَجَعَلْنَـهُ مَثَلاً لِّبَنِى إِسْرَءِيلَ

He was not more than a servant. We granted Our favor to him, and We made him an example for the Children of Israel.

60.

وَلَوْ نَشَآءُ لَجَعَلْنَا مِنكُمْ مَّلَـئِكَةً فِى الاٌّرْضِ يَخْلُفُونَ

And if it were Our will, We would have made angels to replace you on the earth.

61.

وَإِنَّهُ لَعِلْمٌ لِّلسَّاعَةِ فَلاَ تَمْتَرُنَّ بِهَا وَاتَّبِعُونِ هَـذَا صِرَطٌ مُّسْتَقِيمٌ

And he shall be a known sign for (the coming of) the Hour. Therefore have no doubt concerning it. And follow Me! This is the straight path.

62.

وَلاَ يَصُدَّنَّكُمُ الشَّيْطَـنُ إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ

And let not Shaytan hinder you. Verily, he (Shaytan) to you is a plain enemy.

63.

وَلَمَّا جَآءَ عِيسَى بِالْبَيِّنَـتِ قَالَ

And when `Isa came with clear proofs, he said:

قَدْ جِئْتُكُم بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَلأُبَيِّنَ لَكُم بَعْضَ الَّذِى تَخْتَلِفُونَ فِيهِ فَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُونِ

"I have come to you with Al-Hikmah, and in order to make clear to you some of that in which you differ. Therefore have Taqwa of Allah and obey me.''

64.

 إِنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ رَبِّى وَرَبُّكُمْ فَاعْبُدُوهُ هَـذَا صِرَطٌ مُّسْتَقِيمٌ

"Verily, Allah! He is my Lord and your Lord. So worship Him. This is the straight path.''

65

فَاخْتَلَفَ الاٌّحْزَابُ مِن بَيْنِهِمْ

43:65. But the sects from among themselves differed.

فَوَيْلٌ لِّلَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ مِنْ عَذَابِ يَوْمٍ أَلِيمٍ

So woe to those who do wrong from the torment of a painful Day!

 

Next 66-73   

The Contempt of the Quraysh for the son of Maryam, and His true Status with Allah

Allah tells us how the Quraysh persisted in their disbelief and stubborn arguments:

وَلَمَّا ضُرِبَ ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ مَثَلًا إِذَا قَوْمُكَ مِنْهُ يَصِدُّونَ ﴿٥٧

And when the son of Maryam is quoted as an example, behold, your people cry aloud thereat.

Several others narrated that Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, Mujahid, Ikrimah, As-Suddi and Ad-Dahhak said,

"They laughed, i.e., they were astounded by that.''

Qatadah said, "They were repelled by that and they laughed.''

Ibrahim An-Nakha`i said, "They turned away.''

The reason for this was mentioned by Muhammad bin Ishaq in As-Sirah. He said,

"According to what I have heard, the Messenger of Allah sat down one day with Al-Walid bin Al-Mughirah in the Masjid, and An-Nadr bin Al-Harith came and sat down with them. There were also other men from the Quraysh in the gathering. The Messenger of Allah spoke, then An-Nadr bin Al-Harith came up to him and the Messenger of Allah spoke to him until he defeated him in argument. Then he recited to him and to them,

إِنَّكُمْ وَمَا تَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ حَصَبُ جَهَنَّمَ أَنتُمْ لَهَا وَارِدُونَ

Certainly you and that which you are worshipping now besides Allah, are (but) fuel for Hell! (Surely) you will enter it. (21:98)

Then the Messenger of Allah got up and went to sit with Abdullah bin Al-Zab`ari At-Tamimi.

Al-Walid bin Al-Mughirah said to him, By Allah, An-Nadr bin Al-Harith could not match the son of Abd Al-Muttalib in argument. Muhammad claims that we and these gods that we worship are fuel for Hell.'

Abdullah bin Az-Zab`ari said,

`By Allah, if I meet with him I will defeat him in argument. Ask Muhammad whether everyone that is worshipped instead of Allah will be in Hell with those who worshipped him, for we worship the angels, and the Jews worship Uzayr, and the Christians worship the Messiah Isa bin Maryam.'

Al-Walid and those who were sitting with him were amazed at what Abdullah bin Az-Zab`ari said, and they thought that he had come up with a good point. He said this to the Messenger of Allah, who said:

كُلُّ مَنْ أَحَبَّ أَنْ يُعْبَدَ مِنْ دُونِ اللهِ فَهُوَ مَعَ مَنْ عَبَدَهُ، فَإِنَّهُمْ إِنَّمَا يَعْبُدُونَ الشَّيْطَانَ وَمَنْ أَمَرَهُمْ بِعِبَادَتِه

"Everyone who likes to worship something other than Allah will be with the one whom he worshipped, for indeed they are worshipping the Shaytan and whomever told them to worship that person.''

Then Allah revealed the words:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ سَبَقَتْ لَهُمْ مِّنَّا الْحُسْنَى أُوْلَـئِكَ عَنْهَا مُبْعَدُونَ

Verily, those for whom the good has preceded from Us, they will be removed far therefrom (Hell). (21:101),

meaning that Isa , Uzayr and rabbis and monks who were also worshipped, who spent their lives in devotion towards Allah. The misguided people who came after them took them as lords instead of Allah.

Concerning the notion of worshipping the angels as daughters of Allah, the following words were revealed:

وَقَالُواْ اتَّخَذَ الرَّحْمَـنُ وَلَداً سُبْحَانَهُ بَلْ عِبَادٌ مُّكْرَمُونَ

And they say: "The Most Gracious has begotten a son (or children).''

Glory to Him! They are but honored servants. (21:26)

Concerning Isa bin Maryam, the fact that he is worshipped instead of Allah, and to the amazement of Al-Walid and the others who were present at the argument, the following was revealed:

وَلَمَّا ضُرِبَ ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ مَثَلًا إِذَا قَوْمُكَ مِنْهُ يَصِدُّونَ

And when the son of Maryam is quoted as an example, behold, your people cry aloud thereat.

meaning, they take this argument as a basis for rejecting your message.

وَقَالُوا أَآلِهَتُنَا خَيْرٌ أَمْ هُوَ مَا ضَرَبُوهُ لَكَ إِلَّا جَدَلًا

And say: "Are our gods better or is he?''

They quoted not the above example except for argument.

بَلْ هُمْ قَوْمٌ خَصِمُونَ ﴿٥٨

Nay! But they are a quarrelsome people.

Then Allah mentions Isa bin Maryam and says:

إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا عَبْدٌ أَنْعَمْنَا عَلَيْهِ وَجَعَلْنَاهُ مَثَلًا لِّبَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ ﴿٥٩

He was not more than a servant. We granted Our favor to him, and We made him an example for the Children of Israel.

وَلَوْ نَشَاء لَجَعَلْنَا مِنكُم مَّلَائِكَةً فِي الْأَرْضِ يَخْلُفُونَ ﴿٦٠

And if it were Our will, We would have made angels to replace you on the earth.

وَإِنَّهُ لَعِلْمٌ لِّلسَّاعَةِ ...

And he (Isa) shall be a known sign for the Hour.

meaning, the miracles and signs that happened at his hands, such as raising the dead and healing the sick, are sufficient as signs of the approach of the Hour.

... فَلَا تَمْتَرُنَّ بِهَا وَاتَّبِعُونِ هَذَا صِرَاطٌ مُّسْتَقِيمٌ ﴿٦١﴾

Therefore have no doubt concerning it. And follow Me! This is the straight path.

Ibn Jarir mentioned that Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, commented on the Ayah: وَلَمَّا ضُرِبَ ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ مَثَلًا إِذَا قَوْمُكَ مِنْهُ يَصِدُّونَ    "This means the Quraysh, when it was said to them:

إِنَّكُمْ وَمَا تَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ حَصَبُ جَهَنَّمَ أَنتُمْ لَهَا وَارِدُونَ

Certainly you and that which you are worshipping now besides Allah, are (but) fuel for Hell! (Surely) you will enter it. (21:98)

The Quraysh said to him: `What about Isa bin Maryam'

He said:

ذَاكَ عَبْدُاللهِ وَرَسُولُه

He is the servant and Messenger of Allah.

They said,

`By Allah, he means that we should take him as a lord just as the Christians took Isa son of Maryam as a lord.'

Then Allah said:

مَا ضَرَبُوهُ لَكَ إِلَّا جَدَلًا بَلْ هُمْ قَوْمٌ خَصِمُونَ

They quoted not the above example except for argument. Nay! But they are a quarrelsome people.

وَقَالُوا أَآلِهَتُنَا خَيْرٌ أَمْ هُوَ ...

And say: "Are our gods better or is he?''

Qatadah said, They were saying, `our gods are better than him'.''

Qatadah said; "Ibn Mas`ud, may Allah be pleased with him, recited it أَآلِهَتُنَا خَيْرٌ أَمْ هُدَا (Are our gods better or is this (person)),'' they mean Muhammad.

...مَا ضَرَبُوهُ لَكَ إِلَّا جَدَلًا...

They quoted not the above example except for argument.

means, for the sake of stubborn argument, for they knew that he (Isa ) was not included in the Ayah (21:98), because that would not make sense.

The words,

إِنَّكُمْ وَمَا تَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ حَصَبُ جَهَنَّمَ

Certainly you and that which you are worshipping now besides Allah, are (but) fuel for Hell! (21:98)

are addressed to the Quraysh, for they used to worship idols and false gods -- they did not worship the Messiah so why should he be included in what the Ayah says? What they said was only for the sake of argument; they did not really believe in it.

Imam Ahmad, may Allah have mercy on him, recorded that Abu Umamah, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "The Messenger of Allah said:

مَا ضَلَّ قَوْمٌ بَعْدَ هُدًى كَانُوا عَلَيْهِ، إِلَّا أُوْرِثُوا الْجَدَل

No people go astray after having been guided, but they resort to (futile) argument.

Then the Messenger of Allah recited this Ayah: مَا ضَرَبُوهُ لَكَ إِلَّا جَدَلًا بَلْ هُمْ قَوْمٌ خَصِمُونَ (They quoted not the above example except for argument. Nay! But they are a quarrelsome people).''

It was also recorded by At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and Ibn Jarir.

At-Tirmidhi said, "This Hadith is Hasan Sahih, we do not know it except from the Hadith of Hajjaj bin Dinar...''

إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا عَبْدٌ أَنْعَمْنَا عَلَيْهِ ...

He (Isa) was not more than a servant. We granted Our favor to him,

means, Isa, peace be upon him; he was no more than one of the servants of Allah whom Allah blessed with Prophethood and messengership.

... وَجَعَلْنَاهُ مَثَلًا لِّبَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ

and We made him an example for the Children of Israel.

means, `a sign, proof and evidence of Our power to do whatever We will.'

وَلَوْ نَشَاء لَجَعَلْنَا مِنكُم مَّلَائِكَةً فِي الْأَرْضِ يَخْلُفُونَ

And if it were Our will, We would have made angels to replace you on the earth.

As-Suddi said, "They would have taken your place on (the earth).''

Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, and Qatadah said,

"They would have succeeded one another just as you succeed one another.''

This view is implied by the former view.

Mujahid said, "They would have populated the earth instead of you.''

Allah's saying:

وَإِنَّهُ لَعِلْمٌ لِّلسَّاعَةِ ...

And he (Isa) shall be a known sign for (the coming of) the Hour.

The correct view concerning this phrase is that it refers to his descent before the Day of Resurrection, as Allah says:

وَإِن مِّنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَـبِ إِلاَّ لَيُؤْمِنَنَّ بِهِ قَبْلَ مَوْتِهِ

And there is none of the People of the Scripture but must believe in him before his death. (4:159).

-- meaning before the death of Isa, peace be upon him --

وَيَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ يَكُونُ عَلَيْهِمْ شَهِيداً

And on the Day of Resurrection, he will be a witness against them (4:159)

This meaning has the support from an alternate recitation of the Ayat وَإِنَّهُ لَعِلْمٌ لِلسَّاعَةِ (And he shall be a known sign for (the coming of) the Hour.) means, evidence that the Hour will surely come.

Mujahid said: وَإِنَّهُ لَعِلْمٌ لِّلسَّاعَةِ  means, sign and "One of the signs of the Hour will be the appearance of Isa son of Maryam before the Day of Resurrection.''

Something similar was also narrated from Abu Hurayrah, Ibn Abbas, `Abu Al-`Aliyah, Abu Malik, Ikrimah, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak and others.

Many Mutawatir Hadiths report that the Messenger of Allah said that Isa will descend before the Day of Resurrection as a just ruler and fair judge.

... فَلَا تَمْتَرُنَّ بِهَا ...

Therefore have no doubt concerning it.

means, do not doubt that it will surely come to pass.

... وَاتَّبِعُونِ ...

And follow Me.

means, `in what I tell you about it.'

... هَذَا صِرَاطٌ مُّسْتَقِيمٌ ﴿٦١﴾

This is the straight path.

وَلَا يَصُدَّنَّكُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ ...

And let not Shaytan hinder you.

means, from following the truth.

... إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ ﴿٦٢﴾

Verily, he (Satan) to you is a plain enemy.

وَلَمَّا جَاء عِيسَى بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ قَالَ قَدْ جِئْتُكُم بِالْحِكْمَةِ ...

And when Isa came with (Our) clear proofs, he said: "I have come to you with Al-Hikmah...'',

meaning Prophethood:

... وَلِأُبَيِّنَ لَكُم بَعْضَ الَّذِي تَخْتَلِفُونَ فِيهِ ...

and in order to make clear to you some of the (points) in which you differ.

Ibn Jarir said, "This means religious matters, not worldly matters.''

What he said is good.

... فَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ...

Therefore have Taqwa of Allah,

means, `with regard to what I command you to do.'

... وَأَطِيعُونِ ﴿٦٣﴾

and obey me.

means, `in what I bring to you.'

إِنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ رَبِّي وَرَبُّكُمْ فَاعْبُدُوهُ هَذَا صِرَاطٌ مُّسْتَقِيمٌ ﴿٦٤

Verily, Allah! He is my Lord and your Lord. So worship Him. This is the straight path.

means, `you and I are enslaved to Him, in need of Him and we commonly share in the worship of Him Alone, associating none with Him.'

هَذَا صِرَاطٌ مُّسْتَقِيمٌ means, `what I have brought to you is the straight path, which is the worship of the Lord, may He exalted, Alone.'

فَاخْتَلَفَ الْأَحْزَابُ مِن بَيْنِهِمْ ...

But the sects from among themselves differed.

means, they differed and became parties and factions, some who stated that he (Isa) was the servant and Messenger of Allah -- which is true - while others claimed that he was the son of Allah or that he himself was Allah -- glorified be Allah far above what they say.

Allah says:

... فَوَيْلٌ لِّلَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا مِنْ عَذَابِ يَوْمٍ أَلِيمٍ ﴿٦٥﴾

So woe to those who do wrong from the torment of a painful Day!

66.

Previous 57-65

هَلْ يَنظُرُونَ إِلاَّ السَّاعَةَ أَن تَأْتِيَهُمْ بَغْتَةً وَهُمْ لاَ يَشْعُرُونَ

Do they only wait for the Hour that it shall come upon them suddenly while they perceive not?

67.

 الاٌّخِلاَءُ يَوْمَئِذٍ بَعْضُهُمْ لِبَعْضٍ عَدُوٌّ إِلاَّ الْمُتَّقِينَ

Friends on that Day will be foes one to another except those who have Taqwa.

68.

 يَا عِبَادِ لَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْكُمُ الْيَوْمَ وَلَا أَنتُمْ تَحْزَنُونَ

My servants! No fear shall be on you this Day, nor shall you grieve,

69.

  الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ بِـَايَـتِنَا وَكَانُواْ مُسْلِمِينَ

 (You) who believed in Our Ayat and were Muslims.

70.

ادْخُلُواْ الْجَنَّةَ أَنتُمْ وَأَزْوَجُكُمْ تُحْبَرُونَ

Enter Paradise, you and your wives, in happiness.

71.

 يُطَافُ عَلَيْهِمْ بِصِحَـفٍ مِّن ذَهَبٍ وَأَكْوَبٍ وَفِيهَا مَا تَشْتَهِيهِ الاٌّنْفُسُ وَتَلَذُّ الاٌّعْيُنُ وَأَنتُمْ فِيهَا خَـلِدُونَ

Trays of gold and cups will be passed round them; (there will be) therein all that their souls desire, and all that eyes could delight in and you will abide therein forever.

72.

وَتِلْكَ الْجَنَّةُ الَّتِى أُورِثْتُمُوهَا بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

This is the Paradise, which you have been made to inherit because of your deeds that you used to do.

73.

لَكُمْ فِيهَا فَـكِهَةٌ كَثِيرَةٌ مِّنْهَا تَأْكُلُونَ

Therein for you will be fruits in plenty, of which you will eat (as you desire). 

 

Next 74-80   

The Resurrection will come suddenly, and Enmity will arise between close Friends among the Disbelievers

Allah says,

هَلْ يَنظُرُونَ ...

Do they only wait

`do these idolaters who disbelieve in the Messengers wait'

... إِلَّا السَّاعَةَ أَن تَأْتِيَهُم بَغْتَةً وَهُمْ لَا يَشْعُرُونَ ﴿٦٦﴾

only for the Hour that it shall come upon them suddenly while they perceive not?

means, for it is real and will inevitably come to pass, and these negligent people are unprepared for it. When it comes, it will catch them unawares, and on that Day they will feel the utmost regret when regret will not benefit them in the slightest and will not afford them any protection.

الْأَخِلَّاء يَوْمَئِذٍ بَعْضُهُمْ لِبَعْضٍ عَدُوٌّ إِلَّا الْمُتَّقِينَ ﴿٦٧

Friends on that Day will be foes one to another except those who have Taqwa.

means, every friendship that exists for a purpose other than for the sake of Allah will turn to enmity on the Day of Resurrection, except for that which is for the sake of Allah, which will last forever.

This is like the statement of Ibrahim, peace be upon him, to his people:

إِنَّمَا اتَّخَذْتُمْ مِّن دُونِ اللَّهِ أَوْثَـناً مَّوَدَّةَ بَيْنِكُمْ فِى الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا ثُمَّ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ يَكْفُرُ بَعْضُكُمْ بِبَعْضٍ وَيَلْعَنُ بَعْضُكُمْ بَعْضاً وَمَأْوَاكُمُ النَّارُ وَمَا لَكُمْ مِّن نَّـصِرِينَ

You have taken (for worship) idols instead of Allah. The love between you is only in the life of this world, but on the Day of Resurrection, you shall disown each other, and curse each other, and your abode will be the Fire, and you shall have no helper. (29:25)

Good News for Those with Taqwa on the Day of Resurrection, and Their entry into Paradise

Allah says,

يَا عِبَادِ لَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْكُمُ الْيَوْمَ وَلَا أَنتُمْ تَحْزَنُونَ ﴿٦٨

My servants! No fear shall be on you this Day, nor shall you grieve.

Then He will give them the glad tidings:

الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا بِآيَاتِنَا وَكَانُوا مُسْلِمِينَ ﴿٦٩

(You) who believed in Our Ayat and were Muslims.

means, their hearts believed and they submitted inwardly and outwardly to the Laws of Allah.

Al-Mu`tamir bin Sulayman narrated that his father said:

"When the Day of Resurrection comes and the people are resurrected, there will be no one left who will not be filled with terror. Then a caller will cry out:

يَا عِبَادِ لَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْكُمُ الْيَوْمَ وَلَا أَنتُمْ تَحْزَنُونَ

My servants! No fear shall be on you this Day, nor shall you grieve.

So all the people will be filled with hope, but this will be followed by the words:

الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا بِآيَاتِنَا وَكَانُوا مُسْلِمِينَ

(You) who believed in Our Ayat and were Muslims.

Then all of mankind will be filled with despair apart from the believers.''

ادْخُلُوا الْجَنَّةَ ...

Enter Paradise,

means, they will be told to enter Paradise.

... أَنتُمْ وَأَزْوَاجُكُمْ ...

you and your wives,

means, your counterparts

... تُحْبَرُونَ ﴿٧٠﴾

in happiness (Tuhbarun).

means, in delight and joy.

يُطَافُ عَلَيْهِم بِصِحَافٍ مِّن ذَهَبٍ وَأَكْوَابٍ ...

Trays of gold and cups will be passed round them;

means, fine vessels of gold containing food and drink, without spouts or handles.

... وَفِيهَا مَا تَشْتَهِيهِ الْأَنفُسُ ...

(there will be) that their souls desire,

Some of them recited: مَا تَشْتَهِيِ الْأَنفُسُ therein all that their souls could desire.

... وَتَلَذُّ الْأَعْيُنُ ...

and all that eyes could delight in,

means, of good food, delightful fragrances and beautiful scenes.

... وَأَنتُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ ﴿٧١﴾

and you will therein, (means, in Paradise), abide forever,

means, you will never leave it or want to exchange it.

Then it will be said to them, as a reminder of the blessing and favor of Allah:

وَتِلْكَ الْجَنَّةُ الَّتِي أُورِثْتُمُوهَا بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ ﴿٧٢

This is the Paradise, which you have been made to inherit because of your deeds that you used to do.

means, the righteous deeds which were the cause of your being included in the mercy of Allah. For no one will be admitted to Paradise by virtue of their deeds alone; that will be by the mercy and grace of Allah. But the varying ranks and degrees of Paradise will be attained according to one's righteous deeds.

لَكُمْ فِيهَا فَاكِهَةٌ كَثِيرَةٌ ...

Therein for you will be fruits in plenty,

means, of all kinds.

... مِنْهَا تَأْكُلُونَ ﴿٧٣﴾

of which you will eat.

means, whatever you choose and desire.

When food and drink are mentioned, fruit is also mentioned to complete the picture of blessing and joy. And Allah knows best.

74.

Previous 66-73

إِنَّ الْمُجْرِمِينَ فِى عَذَابِ جَهَنَّمَ خَـلِدُونَ

Verily, the criminals will be in the torment of Hell to abide therein forever.

75.

لاَ يُفَتَّرُ عَنْهُمْ وَهُمْ فِيهِ مُبْلِسُونَ

 (The torment) will not be lightened for them, and they will be plunged into destruction with deep regrets, sorrows and in despair therein.

76.

وَمَا ظَلَمْنَـهُمْ وَلَـكِن كَانُواْ هُمُ الظَّـلِمِينَ

We wronged them not, but they were the wrongdoers.

77.

 وَنَادَوْا يَا مَالِكُ لِيَقْضِ عَلَيْنَا رَبُّكَ

And they will cry: "O Malik (keeper of Hell)! Let your Lord make an end of us.''

قَالَ إِنَّكُمْ مَّـكِثُونَ

He will say: "Verily, you shall abide forever.''

78.

 لَقَدْ جِئْنَـكُم بِالْحَقِّ وَلَـكِنَّ أَكْثَرَكُمْ لِلْحَقِّ كَـرِهُونَ

Indeed We have brought the truth to you, but most of you have a hatred for the truth.

79.

 أَمْ أَبْرَمُواْ أَمْراً فَإِنَّا مُبْرِمُونَ

Or have they plotted some plan? Then We too are planning.

80.

أَمْ يَحْسَبُونَ أَنَّا لاَ نَسْمَعُ سِرَّهُمْ وَنَجْوَهُم

Or do they think that We hear not their secrets and their private counsel?

بَلَى وَرُسُلُنَا لَدَيْهِمْ يَكْتُبُونَ

Yes (We do) and Our messengers are by them, to record.

 

Next 81-89   

 The Punishment of the Doomed

The description of the state of the blessed is followed by a description of the state of the doomed.

إِنَّ الْمُجْرِمِينَ فِي عَذَابِ جَهَنَّمَ خَالِدُونَ ﴿٧٤

Verily, the criminals will be in the torment of Hell to abide therein forever.

لَا يُفَتَّرُ عَنْهُمْ ...

It will not be lightened for them,

meaning, not even for one moment.

... وَهُمْ فِيهِ مُبْلِسُونَ ﴿٧٥﴾

and they will be plunged into destruction with deep regrets, sorrows and in despair therein,

means, they will despair of any goodness.

وَمَا ظَلَمْنَاهُمْ وَلَكِن كَانُوا هُمُ الظَّالِمِينَ ﴿٧٦

We wronged them not, but they were the wrongdoers.

means, by their committing wrong actions after proof had been established against them and Messengers had been sent to them, but they rejected them and rebelled, so they are to be punished accordingly. And your Lord is not at all unjust to (His) servants.

وَنَادَوْا يَا مَالِكُ ...

And they will cry: "O Malik...'' (who is the keeper of Hell).

Al-Bukhari said,

"Hajjaj bin Minhal told us, Sufyan bin Uyaynah told us, from Amr bin `Ata,  from Safwan bin Ya`la that his father, may Allah be pleased with him, said, `I heard the Messenger of Allah reciting on the Minbar:

وَنَادَوْا يَا مَالِكُ.لِيَقْضِ عَلَيْنَا رَبُّكَ ...

And they will cry: "O Malik! Let your Lord make an end of us.''

meaning, `let Him destroy our souls and give us some respite from our predicament.'

But it will be as Allah says:

لاَ يُقْضَى عَلَيْهِمْ فَيَمُوتُواْ وَلاَ يُخَفَّفُ عَنْهُمْ مِّنْ عَذَابِهَا

Neither will it have a complete killing effect on them so that they die nor shall its torment be lightened for them. (35:36)

وَيَتَجَنَّبُهَا الاٌّشْقَى  - الَّذِى يَصْلَى النَّارَ الْكُبْرَى  - ثُمَّ لاَ يَمُوتُ فِيهَا وَلاَ يَحْيَا

But it will be avoided by the wretched, who will enter the great Fire. There he will neither die (to be in rest) nor live (a good living). (87:11-13)

When they ask to be allowed to die, Malik will answer them:

...قَالَ إِنَّكُم مَّاكِثُونَ ﴿٧٧﴾

He will say: Verily, you shall abide forever.

meaning, you will have no way out from it and no refuge.

Then the reason why they are doomed will be given, which is their stubborn resistance to the truth. Allah says:

لَقَدْ جِئْنَاكُم بِالْحَقِّ ...

Indeed We have brought the truth to you,

meaning, `We have explained it to you clearly and in detail.'

... وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَكُمْ لِلْحَقِّ كَارِهُونَ ﴿٧٨﴾

but most of you have a hatred for the truth.

means, `but your nature could not accept it and did not seek it; on the contrary, you followed and venerated falsehood, and you stood in the way of truth and refused it, and despised its followers.'

So they will blame themselves and will feel regret at the time when regret will not be of any benefit to them.

Then Allah says:

أَمْ أَبْرَمُوا أَمْرًا فَإِنَّا مُبْرِمُونَ ﴿٧٩

Or have they plotted some plan? Then We too are planning.

Mujahid said, "They wanted to plot some evil, but We are also planning.''

What Mujahid said is like the Ayah:

وَمَكَرُواْ مَكْراً وَمَكَرْنَا مَكْراً وَهُمْ لاَ يَشْعُرُونَ

So they plotted a plot, and We planned a plan, while they perceived not. (27:50)

The idolators were trying their utmost to find ways of refuting the truth with falsehood, but Allah planned it so that the consequences of that would backfire on them. He said in refutation:

أَمْ يَحْسَبُونَ أَنَّا لَا نَسْمَعُ سِرَّهُمْ وَنَجْوَاهُم ...

Or do they think that We hear not their secrets and their private counsel?

meaning, what they say secretly and openly.

... بَلَى وَرُسُلُنَا لَدَيْهِمْ يَكْتُبُونَ ﴿٨٠﴾

Yes (We do) and Our messengers are by them, to record.

means, `We know what they are doing, and the angels are also recording their deeds, major and minor.'

81.

Previous 74-80

قُلْ إِن كَانَ لِلرَّحْمَـنِ وَلَدٌ فَأَنَاْ أَوَّلُ الْعَـبِدِينَ

Say: "If the Most Gracious had a son, then I am the first of the worshippers.''

82.

سُبْحَانَ رَبِّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ رَبِّ الْعَرْشِ عَمَّا يَصِفُونَ

Glorified is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, the Lord of the Throne! Exalted be He from all that they ascribe (to Him).

83.

فَذَرْهُمْ يَخُوضُواْ وَيَلْعَبُواْ حَتَّى يُلَـقُواْ يَوْمَهُمُ الَّذِى يُوعَدُونَ

So leave them (alone) to speak nonsense and play until they meet the Day of theirs which they have been promised.

84.

 وَهُوَ الَّذِى فِى السَّمآء إِلَـهٌ وَفِى الاْرْضِ إِلَـهٌ

43:84 It is He Who is the only God in the heaven and the only God on the earth.

وَهُوَ الْحَكِيمُ الْعَلِيمُ

And He is the All-Wise, the All-Knower.

85.

وَتَبَارَكَ الَّذِى لَهُ مُلْكُ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا

And Blessed be He to Whom belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them,

وَعِندَهُ عِلْمُ السَّاعَةِ وَإِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ

and with Whom is the knowledge of the Hour, and to Whom you (all) will be returned.

86.

وَلَا يَمْلِكُ الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِهِ الشَّفَاعَةَ إِلَّا مَن شَهِدَ بِالْحَقِّ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ

And those whom they invoke instead of Him have no power of intercession -- except for those who bear witness to the truth knowingly, and they know.

87.

وَلَئِن سَأَلْتَهُم مَّنْ خَلَقَهُمْ لَيَقُولُنَّ اللَّهُ

And if you ask them who created them, they will surely say: "Allah.''

فَأَنَّى يُؤْفَكُونَ

How then are they turned away?

88.

وَقِيلِهِ يرَبِّ إِنَّ هَـؤُلاَءِ قَوْمٌ لاَّ يُؤْمِنُونَ

And his saying: "O my Lord! Verily, these are a people who believe not!''

89.

فَاصْفَحْ عَنْهُمْ وَقُلْ سَلَـمٌ فَسَوْفَ يَعْلَمُونَ

So turn away from them, and say: Salam (peace!) But they will come to know.

 

Allah has no Offspring Allah says:

Allah says,

قُلْ ...

Say, -- (`O Muhammad') --

... إِن كَانَ لِلرَّحْمَنِ وَلَدٌ فَأَنَا أَوَّلُ الْعَابِدِينَ ﴿٨١﴾

If the Most Gracious had a son, then I am the first of the worshippers.

meaning, `if this were so, then I would worship Him on that basis, because I am one of His servants; I obey all that He commands me and I am not too arrogant or proud to worship Him.'

This conditional phrase does not mean that what is described could happen nor that is possible as Allah says:

لَّوْ أَرَادَ اللَّهُ أَن يَتَّخِذَ وَلَداً لاَّصْطَفَى مِمَّا يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَآءُ سُبْحَـنَهُ هُوَ اللَّهُ الْوَحِدُ الْقَهَّارُ

Had Allah willed to take a son, He could have chosen whom He willed out of those whom He created. But glory be to Him! He is Allah, the One, the Irresistible. (39:4).

Allah says here:

سُبْحَانَ رَبِّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ رَبِّ الْعَرْشِ عَمَّا يَصِفُونَ ﴿٨٢

Glorified is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, the Lord of the Throne! Exalted be He from all that they ascribe (to Him).

meaning, exalted and sanctified and glorified be the Creator of all things far above having any offspring, for He is Unique, One and Eternally Self-Sufficient. There is none equal to Him or like Him, and He does not have any offspring.

فَذَرْهُمْ يَخُوضُوا ...

So leave them (alone) to speak nonsense,

means, in their ignorance and misguidance,

... وَيَلْعَبُوا ...

and play, (in their world),

... حَتَّى يُلَاقُوا يَوْمَهُمُ الَّذِي يُوعَدُونَ ﴿٨٣﴾

until they meet the Day of theirs which they have been promised.

which is the Day of Resurrection, i.e., then they will come to know what their end and destination will be on that Day.

The Uniqueness of the Lord

Allah exalted says,

وَهُوَ الَّذِي فِي السَّمَاء إِلَهٌ وَفِي الْأَرْضِ إِلَهٌ ...

It is He Who is the only God in the heaven and the only God on the earth.

means, He is the God of those who are in the heavens and the God of those who are on earth; all of them worship Him and are humbled before Him.

... وَهُوَ الْحَكِيمُ الْعَلِيمُ ﴿٨٤﴾

And He is the All-Wise, the All-Knower.

This Ayah is like the Ayah:

وَهُوَ اللَّهُ فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَفِى الاٌّرْضِ يَعْلَمُ سِرَّكُمْ وَجَهْرَكُمْ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا تَكْسِبُونَ

And He is Allah in the heavens and on the earth; He knows what you conceal and what you reveal, and He knows what you earn. (6:3)

which means, He is the One who is called Allah in the heavens and on the earth.

وَتَبَارَكَ الَّذِي لَهُ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا ...

And Blessed be He to Whom belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them,

means, He is their Creator and Sovereign, the One Who is controlling them with none to resist or oppose His rule. Blessed and exalted be He far above the notion of His having a child. He is eternally free of all faults and shortcomings, because He is the Lord, the Exalted, the Almighty, the Sovereign of all things, Who is in control of all affairs.

... وَعِندَهُ عِلْمُ السَّاعَةِ ...

and with Whom is the knowledge of the Hour,

means, no one knows when it will happen except Him.

... وَإِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ ﴿٨٥﴾

and to Whom you (all) will be returned.

means, and each person will be requited for his deeds; if they are good, then he will be rewarded, and if they are bad, then he will be punished.

The Idols have no Power of Intercession

Allah exalted says,

وَلَا يَمْلِكُ الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِهِ ...

And those whom they invoke instead of Him have no power,

means, the idols and false gods.

... الشَّفَاعَةَ ...

of intercession,

means, they are not able to intercede for them.

... إِلَّا مَن شَهِدَ بِالْحَقِّ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ ﴿٨٦﴾

except for those who bear witness to the truth knowingly, and they know.

This means, but the one who bears witness to the truth has knowledge and insight, so his intercession with Allah will avail, by His leave.

The Idolators admit that Allah Alone is the Creator

Allah exalted says,

وَلَئِن سَأَلْتَهُم مَّنْ خَلَقَهُمْ لَيَقُولُنَّ اللَّهُ فَأَنَّى يُؤْفَكُونَ ﴿٨٧

And if you ask them who created them, they will surely say: "Allah.''

How then are they turned away?

means, `if you ask these idolators who associate others in worship with Allah,' مَّنْ خَلَقَهُمْ لَيَقُولُنَّ اللَّهُ means, they will admit that He Alone is the Creator of all things and He has no partner in that. Yet despite that they still worship others alongside Him who have nothing and are able to do nothing. This is the utmost foolishness and stupidity.

Allah says: فَأَنَّى يُؤْفَكُونَ   (How then are they turned away).

The Prophet's Complaint to Allah

Allah says,

وَقِيلِهِ يَارَبِّ إِنَّ هَؤُلَاء قَوْمٌ لَّا يُؤْمِنُونَ ﴿٨٨

And his saying: "O my Lord! Verily, these are a people who believe not!''

means, Muhammad said this; he complained to his Lord about his people who did not believe in him, and said, `O Lord, these people do not believe.'

This is like the Ayah:

وَقَالَ الرَّسُولُ يرَبِّ إِنَّ قَوْمِى اتَّخَذُواْ هَـذَا الْقُرْءاَنَ مَهْجُوراً

And the Messenger will say: "O my Lord! Verily, my people deserted this Qur'an.'' (25:30).

This is the view of Ibn Mas`ud, may Allah be pleased with him, Mujahid and Qatadah, and this is how Ibn Jarir interpreted it.

Al-Bukhari said:

"`Abdullah Ibn Mas`ud, may Allah be pleased with him -- recited (Ayah 88 of Az-Zukhruf):

وَقالَ الرَّسَولُ يَارَبِّ 

And the Messenger will say: "O my Lord!''

Mujahid said concerning the Ayah: وَقِيلِهِ يَارَبِّ إِنَّ هَؤُلَاء قَوْمٌ لَّا يُؤْمِنُونَ   "Allah is stating what Muhammad said.''

Qatadah said,

"These are the words of your Prophet, when he complained about his people to his Lord.''

فَاصْفَحْ عَنْهُمْ ...

So turn away from them,

means, from the idolators.

... وَقُلْ سَلَامٌ ...

and say Salam (peace!)

means, `do not respond to them in the same evil manner in which they address you; but try to soften their hearts and forgive them in word and deed.'

... فَسَوْفَ يَعْلَمُونَ ﴿٨٩﴾

But they will come to know.

This is a warning from Allah for them. His punishment, which cannot be warded off, struck them, and His religion and His word was supreme. Subsequently Jihad and striving were prescribed until the people entered the religion of Allah in crowds, and Islam spread throughout the east and the west. And Allah knows best.

This is the end of the Tafsir of Surah Az-Zukhruf. All praise and thanks are due to Allah and in Him is all strength and protection.

 

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